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In honor of my own father’s birthday today, we celebrate five television favorites that he shared with me when I was a boy, and that quickly compelled me to read them all in book form:
1. In my mind, there was never a more fascinating book for boys than “the noble savage”, Tarzan of the Apes, written by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1914. My fascination with this wonderful series (there would be 25 sequels in it) actually started when my father and I began watching the old black and white television show of the same name on Saturdays when I was no more than 6 or 7 years old. The NBC series starred Ron Ely and ran from 1966 to 1968 before I began seeing it in reruns in the 1970’s. Here’s a great article that was written early in 2013 about Ely’s adventures on the set: http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/tv-radio/389956/Ron-Ely-looks-back-at-Tarzan
2. Bonanza – the longtime western television series ran from 1959 to 1973. They even made some great adventure stories for children.
3. Rifleman – it starred Chuck Connors and ran from 1958 to 1963. I loved the comic books from the series.
4. The Adventures of Superman – this television series originally ran from 1952 to 1958 and starred George Reeves. The comic books quickly became my favorites when my dad and I began watching the series in syndication in the 1970’s.
5. The Incredible Hulk – the television series starred Bill Bixby and we never missed a moment of it. It ran from 1978 to 1982 and included some of the best storytelling of any series in the genre. For me,the tv show led to the comic books, which eventually led to some of the novels based upon the series.